China’s hotpot & BBQ ingredient supplier Guoquan Shihui nets $300m

Guoquan Shihui, a Chinese supermarket chain that offers hotpot and barbecue ingredients, has secured $300 million in a Series D round in expanded fundraising efforts to ride on its recent rapid growth.

Hong Kong-incorporated financial institution CMB International and Tiantu Capital, a Chinese equity investment firm that specialises in the consumer field, led the investment. Existing shareholders also re-upped with oversubscription, the startup announced on Wednesday.

Founded in 2017, Guoquan operates a nationwide network of supermarkets to provide hotpot and barbecue utensils and ingredients, such as fresh produce, condiments, dipping sauces, snacks, and beverages. Besides brick-and-mortar stores, the firm has also built an online platform that allows consumers to make purchases and have the goods delivered to their doorstep.

The Shanghai-based startup has continued to step up its fundraising ambitions since the coronavirus outbreak forced many consumers in China to stay back and dine at home.

Following a four-time sales growth in 2019 over 2018, Guoquan drastically expanded its presence in the domestic market by opening up an average of 12.2 new stores every day in the nine months between February and November 2020, it claimed. By the end of 2020, it operates a total of 5,000 supermarkets in China, serving about 130 million consumers.

Amid its accelerated growth, Guoquan has gathered nearly 3 billion yuan ($461.4 million) across four funding rounds in over one year.

With the new financing, the firm will further march into the market in China’s third and lower-tier cities. It also plans to explore business opportunities in the fresh produce field with its first fresh produce factory in east-central China’s Zhengzhou City.

Prior to the Series D round, Guoquan announced the completion of a Series C round at $60 million in July 2020, led by Beijing-based GenBridge Capital. In its Series B round, led by IDG Capital in February 2020, the firm pocketed $50 million.

It closed 50 million yuan in a Series A+ round from Buhuo Ventures and Shenzhen-listed quick-frozen food provider Sanquan Food in October 2019, following a 45-million-yuan Series A round in August 2019, shows the company website.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.